The Pearson Institute Research and Innovation Fund

Each year, The Pearson Institute’s Research and Innovation Fund provides grants to University of Chicago faculty and PhD students conducting research on global conflict. Studies must be rooted in innovative, data-driven research that seeks to understand and reduce global conflict and demonstrates public policy impact.

Researchers awarded a Pearson Grant explore topics that are regionally and topically diverse, each with a focus on using quantitative social science to advance the study of conflict and the potential to advance public policy involving global conflict. 

The Pearson Institute Research and Innovation Fund 2024 Awardees

2024 Awardees

Michael Albertus

Professor, Political Science

Ethnic Community Recognition and State-Insurgent Contestation: Evidence from Peru

Sonja Castañeda Dower

PhD Candidate, Political Science

Forced Assimilation and Demands for Sovereignty:RenamingIndigenous People in the U.S.,1890-1910

Sushant Banjara, Claire Fan, and Varun Kapoor

PhD Candidates, Economics and Harris Public Policy

Environmental degradation in one’s own backyard: Evidence from sand mining in India

Lautaro Cella

PhD Candidate, Political Science

Support for Pro-Indigenous Policies Amid Conflict.The Case of the Mapuche in Chile and Argentina

Siobhan Finnerty

PhD Candidate, Political Science

Corporations, Community, and Cocoa: A Role for Non-State Actors in Rural Stability

Varun Kapoor

PhD Candidate, Economics

Local and Migrant Worker Conflict in Spot Labor Markets 

Nina Kerkebane

PhD Candidate, Harris Public Policy

Understanding and perturbing discriminatory social norms in Nigeria to alleviate conflict: the case of the Ohu system

Benjamin Lessing

Associate Professor, Political Science

Modeling Persistent Duopolies of Violence: How the State Gets Drug Gangs to Govern for It

Sasha Petrov

PhD Candidate, Economics

Optimal Jurisdictional Borders in Africa

Madeleine Stevens

PhD Candidate, Political Science

“Subversives” and “Delinquents”: The Politics of Active Disappearance in Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico

Nicolás Torres-Echeverry

PhD Candidate, Sociology

Between War and Peace: Political Organizing in Twenty-First Century Colombia

Rebecca Wolfe

Senior Lecturer, Harris Public Policy

Shifting the conversation: Piloting behaviorally-informed digital peacebuilding interventions to curb dangerous speech

Austin L. Wright

Assistant Professor, Harris Public Policy

Regime Change and State Capacity

2023 Awardees

Ari Anisfeld and Pepi Pandiloski

PhD Candidates, Harris Public Policy

Social Learning in Segregated Networks

Maria Angélica Bautista

Senior Research Associate, Harris Public Policy

Elements of an African Theory of International Relations

Raman Chhina and Varun Kapoor

PhD Candidates, Economics

Persistence of Political Conflicts: Evidence from Resettlement in East Punjab

Hope Dancy

PhD Candidate, Political Science

Colonial Agreements Project

Shanon Hsuan-Ming Hsu

PhD Candidate, Economics

Industrial Policy, Firm Ownerships, and Ethnic Inequality in Malaysia

Luis Martinez et al.

Assistant Professor, Harris Public Policy

Bourbon Reforms and State Capacity in the Spanish Empire

Jose Miguel Pascual Moreno

PhD Candidate, Harris Public Policy

Labor Unions and Mechanization

John Henry Murdy

PhD Candidate, Political Science

How International Criminal Organizations Consolidate Power: A Crisis in Ecuador

Raul Sanchez de la Sierra and Soeren Henn

Assistant Professor, Harris Public Policy; Lecturer, New Castle University Business School

Challenging Territorial Conceptions of the State: The Bandits Own Perspective

Daniel J. Sonnenstuhl

PhD Candidate, Harris Public Policy

The Causes and Implications of the Pentecostal Movement: Evidence from Nigeria

Madeleine Stevens

PhD Candidate, Political Science

Annihilating “Subversives” and Dehumanizing “Delinquents”: Enforced Disappearance from the Cold War through the War on Terror 

Maya Van Nuys

PhD Candidate, Political Science

Policing the International: IOs in the Production of Global Policing Norms

Rebecca Wolfe

Senior Lecturer, Harris Public Policy

Reducing Violence Versus Building Trust: Exploring the Joint Effect of Top-down and Bottom-up Peacebuilding Interventions

Previous Awardees